It was back in September that Searching the Ellis Island Database in One Step was snatched from the Web. Stephen Morse’s handy search tool disappeared from the Internet due to a dispute with the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation <www.ellisisland.org>. The foundation was responsible for making millions of immigrant arrival records in the Ellis Island Archives available free on the Web in 2001. Morse created several Web sites that helped users search the complex database. According to Jewish genealogy expert Gary Mokotoff, the foundation threatened legal action against Morse for “deep linking” to its site in other words, linking to pages beyond its home page. It was unclear if Morse’s search engines would ever be restored to the Web.
Avotaynu, the leading Jewish genealogy publisher, temporarily adopted Morse’s orphaned search tool on its Web site <www.avotaynu.com/ellis.html>. But in late October, JewishGen and the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation announced they were teaming up to enhance and to provide a permanent home for Morse’s Ellis Island search tools. The collaboration will keep Morse’s one-step search available to the online genealogy community. All of Morse’s Ellis Island Web sites can be accessed at <www.jewishgen.org/databases/eidb>.